Well, if you’ve ever spent more than 2 minutes with me you’ll most likely be well aware of how clumsy I am. I’m currently sitting on the sofa with my ankle iced and elevated after coming off of my bike earlier today. I still pushed through an hour of karate (granted I probably oughtn’t to have) but had to pass up A Man’s request to go roller skating. He looked very sad. I felt very guilty.
Luckily for both of us, I made dinner yesterday in the slow cooker. I had to pop to the supermarket and came across some reduced price pork cheeks. I’ve seen them come through my till several times but had never bought them before. They’re kindof hard to come across usually as it’s the kind of meat that tends to be made into sausages, but Morrisons stocks them (as, apparently do Waitrose) and you might be able to get hold of some from a decent butcher. Even at full price, they’re only £5 per kilo and have no bones, gristle or much fat (if they’re trimmed as mine were) so they’re really good value for money.
They can apparently be a bit on the tough side, but you just wouldn’t know it from tonight’s dinner. It was some of the tastiest, most tender pork I’ve eaten in a long time. Really to be highly recommended! I also only used the dark green ends of my leeks (I had used the paler bits last night, in leeks in cheese sauce) which stand up better to the long slow cooking and might otherwise have been thrown away. Overall, I’d thoroughly recommend this dish. Even if you’re a bit squeamish about eating cheeks, you really can’t tell when you just have the meat, and the end result is so worth it! No photo I’m afraid – I was feeling lazy.
Cheeky Leek Casserole
2 or 3 pork cheeks per person (depending on size and how greedy you’re feeling)
Dark green ends of leeks, cut into chunky pieces
Half an onion, chopped
1 large or a couple of small apples, cored and chopped into chunky pieces (skin left on)
About a pint of chicken stock
Heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Some white sauce (or cheese sauce – I used the leftovers from the leeks in cheese sauce)
Mushrooms, chopped into chunks
- Chop the pork cheeks into 3 or 4 chunky pieces. Place in slow cooker.
- Add the leeks, onion and apple. Stir together well to distribute.
- Mix the mustard and honey with the chicken stock. Make up the white or cheese sauce if necessary and stir into the stock. Pour over the pork and vegetables. Ad more water if necessary to cover. Add fresh tarragon.
- Cook in slow cooker on low (or in a casserole dish in a low oven) for around 4-5 hours. Fish out the tarragon and stir through the mushrooms. Cook for another hour or so.
- Taste and season if necessary. Serve with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes (we had rice) and a glass of cider. Thank me later for just how tender the meat is.